Join Sen. Hatch to Outlaw the iPod

Categories: Ramblings

EFF: Prelude to a Fake Complaint
“Under the Supreme Court’s ruling in Sony v. Universal (the Betamax VCR case), devices like the iPod and CD burners are legal as long as they have legal uses – what the Court called “substantial non-infringing uses.” This has been the rule in the technology sector for the last 20 years. Billions of dollars and thousands of jobs have depended on it. Industries have blossomed under it. And any case brought against Apple or HP or Dell would be immediately dismissed because of it.

Now Senator Hatch and his allies want to tear down that rule and substitute a new one with the Induce Act. With it, the fact that a device or product has legal uses, even lots of them, is irrelevant. Filing a lawsuit under the Induce Act is like dropping a litigation bomb on any company that gives users products that have even the slightest potential to assist in copyright infringement. Technology companies will avoid being innovative, and investors will avoid supporting new technologies for fear of being sued out of existence based on the possible conduct of their customers. If this bill had been law in 1984, there would be no VCR. If this bill had been law in 1995, there would be no CD burners. If this bill had been law in 2000, there would be no iPod. If this bill becomes law in 2004, we may lose those devices and many more that we haven’t even begun to imagine.”

«
»